Unstructured and conflicting situations in systems development are often discussed in terms of bad planning and lack of control. In terms of dialectics, however, such situations can be regarded as a source of insight and development.

In this article, a problematic situation from a practical project is de.: scribed. Different techniques that could be used in managing the situation are discussed. Finally, the situation is analysed according to the notion of contradiction.

Dialectical reflection permits problematic situations to be regarded as a result of and a source for development, instead of interpreting the situation as a result of bad planning. This can improve the understanding of processes that lead to a problematic situation. Thus the insight gained from dialectical reflection should provide a basis for applying well-known methods and techniques in information systems development.